Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Stephen Harper and the Con Zombies
Two years ago Stephen Harper told an American audience that he could still "easily" be Con leader, but didn't want to turn the party into his "personal political vehicle."
But now he is working behind the scenes to elect the next leader.
An associate told the Star that Harper is supportive of a number of those seen as contenders for the leadership, including his former parliamentary secretary Pierre Poilievre and former cabinet ministers Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole.
Which couldn't be more disastrous for his zombie party.
For as Michael Harris writes, the Cons need Harper like they need a hole in their bobbleheads.
For the second time in just over two years, the Conservative Party of Canada is getting a chance to hit the reset button. The first time they opted for the hapless Andrew Scheer. The choice reflected the mistaken notion that you can have change without change.
Here’s why they’ll blow it again and jam the Batmobile into reverse with a leader like Pierre Poilievre, Rona Ambrose, Peter MacKay or some other retread from the party’s glory days.
For it's still the Harper Party.
Even though Harper was trounced by Justin Trudeau in 2015, he has never really released his grip on the party he built. Far from it. Harper still pulls the strings in the party’s backrooms through his powerful position in the party’s fundraising arm, the Conservative Fund.
The Cons have never criticized him, or his failed record.
That’s the problem for today’s Conservatives. They have never rebuked Harper, his policies, his values, or his political style, even though Canadians have rejected Harperism and all it stands for in the past two federal elections.
So the leadership candidates are little more than Harper zombies, and the Cons are still trapped in the past.
Any claim of a changed Conservative party is mostly smoke. The party continues to be the creature of the Western energy economy. Its political fuel continues to be Western alienation.
Any new party leader who served with Harper will be trying to hold together his original coalition — which means never winning the country.
And for the walking dead all roads lead to the cemetery...
What the Cons don't seem to understand is that the Harper Party died when Justin Trudeau humiliated and buried their Great Leader.
And until the day they can rid themselves of Harper's deathly legacy, they will keep dying over and over again.
And they will not govern this country again for a long long time....